Military policy, according to Bayan Muna’s Neri Colmenares


The Bongbong rockets, a Philippine military attempt to be self-sufficient

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who is running for the Senate in 2016, said Tuesday that the Philippines should not rely on the United States in its dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, the country’s economic zone in the South China Sea.

“Let us rely on ourselves,” he said, according to a Rappler report. And that is a wonderful sentiment and a great goal to aspire to. His suggestion is for the Philippines to be “like Vietnam and other countries that didn’t seek [assistance, presumably] from the United States.”

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No PH troop deployment to South Korea

The Armed Forces of the Philippines will not be sending troops to South Korea over tensions in the Korean peninsula.

According to Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda, South Korea has not
asked for military assistance.

Also, he said, “we have to be realistic about our capability.”

"I mean, seriously, guys..."

The Philippines sent troops to Korea during the Korean War and gained distinction on the battlefield.

If the AFP does send troops to South Korea again, it will be the second time for the Philippine Army as an institution and for some of its equipment.

Joker Arroyo: Cunning Linguist

Years after being turned into a cartoon, or, ahem, a caricature of his former self, Senator Joker Arroyo tries to show us that he’s still a nationalist by attacking the go-to guy for instant patriotism points, the United States of America.

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Peace at last: Congress to add 9th ray to RP flag

The Senate and the House of Representatives have agreed to include a ninth ray to the sun on the Philippine flag. According to a press release, the move is meant to “acknowledge the courage, bravery and integrity of Muslim Filipinos who fought for the nation’s independence.”

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Let it not be said that the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines do not try their best to make lemonade from lemons. In the proverbial sidewalk of life, these guys squeeze every bit of juice and pulp to put in their lemonade. Which doesn’t quite mean that they cannot be kicked to the curb by big bullies.

Great effort does not always mean great success, as these formerly top secret weapons will show.

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Dick Gordon, you are not Batman

Anyone who has spent any amount of time around Senator Richard Gordon knows four basic facts about him:

1. That he was the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention.

2. That his father was assassinated, and that he eventually nailed the guy who did it.

3. That he is an Upsilonian, (just like his fraternity brothers Senators Joker Arroyo and Francis Pangilinan, who have the parliamentary courtesy not to acknowledge the blatant name-dropping in mentioning it in speeches everyday.)

4. He turned Subic into the economic powerhouse that it is today.

Never in his rambling privilege speeches has he ever mentioned that he served in the military, or has ever been in the line of fire, except, I guess, politically.

Which does not stop him from from single-handedly rescuing Red Cross volunteer Mary Jean Lacaba, or acting like some debonair billionaire vigilante (at least, on the phone.)

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Fighting Spirit Award

“If it will be down to hand-to-hand combat, why not?”

–AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on the defense of the Kalayaan Island Group


Meaning no disrespect to the Filipino soldier, probably among the hardiest and fiercest warriors that any fighting force in the world can muster, but this will never happen.


We’re not even talking about the impossible logistics of arranging a brawl with Chinese soldiers on islands that are closer to being reefs than actual land masses. Just finding someone to referee it would be a pain, and then there’d be the question of rules: will it be a square-off between an equal number of combatants, a large-scale version of the classic high school 10 Seconds? Will punches to the face be allowed? What about low blows?


These are just details, and do not really matter in the face of the fact that we Filipinos do not have a warrior culture. Sure, we’re effective, even fearsome fighters judging from the abundance of Weapons of Moroland plaques and the variety of weapons our warriors have wielded from the kris to the kampilan to the korambit to the sansibar to the pillbox to the lead pipe.


The head hunters of the mountains to the North were feared by colonists and settlers. Our Sulu pirates terrorized shipping along the straits of Basilan for centuries. Our hot Malay blood is quick to anger and demand blood for the slightest, sometimes imagined, insult, but it is not in our genetic code to wish that the Emperor reign ten thousand years, and then charge pell-mell to certain death. It is not even in our genetic code to have an Emperor or any other infallible despot whose word is the law.


Decisive set-piece battles are not in the Filipino subconscious. When we say patay kung patay, we mean our willingness to kill, not to die. Aguinaldo went into talks with Spain barely a year into the 1896 Revolution, fleeing to Hong Kong when no decisive military solution seemed possible. He returned, of course, to wage war again and to carry the fight to our new masters, the Americans. He then surrendered again, as did every other revolutionary with the possible exception of Artemio Ricarte who refused to pledge allegiance to America.


The defense of the Philippines collapsed within five months despite the presence of the admittedly ill-equipped USAFFE. Soon after, a puppet government was formed and positions were filled by collaborators. Artemio Ricarte, our hero who refused to pledge to the American flag promptly bowed to the Japanese one, helping found the KALIBAPI, the Japanese-sponsored political party that remained unopposed throughout the war years. When the war ended, most collaborators were pardoned since they were badly needed to get our war-torn country running again. And why not? We are masters of the long view, after all.


The long view does not favor massive forces annihilating each other, does not see the quixotic and bloody defense of one’s homeland as a virtue. Massacres and burning down villages in long campaigns of attrition will do nobody any good. Much better to catipulate now, or pretend to, at any rate, and resort to guerilla everything later. Sure, we’ll sing our heavily-accented Star-Spangled Banner and bow to you all you want, but the moment you turn your back, we’ll raid your armories, attack you while you breakfast, ambush your supply trains, pee on your walls, spit in public, flood you with illegal immigrants, etc.


Some may refuse to surrender, swear death before dishonor, but there will always be someone higher up who, thinking in the long term, will willingly turn over our territory. In the interest of the people’s safety and for regional stability, no doubt. And this is why if push comes to shove, we’ll lose the Kalayaan Island Group. We do not have the hive-mind of our neighbors, the ethnocentric certainty that conquest is their right, the conviction that they would rather fall first before their country does.


Sure, we’ll fight for our country, but we won’t be able to defend it.